Monday, June 2, 2008

The Pretenders and Contenders Of Mixed Martial Arts

This past Saturday CBS and Elite XC sent MMA back a decade with a despicable production that insulted true MMA fans. The fighters did their job. Scott Smith, Robbie Lawler, Gina Carrano and Kaitlan Young fought amazing fights. But the judges, referees, play-by-play announcers and ringside doctors did an excellent job of turning MMA's network television debut into a circus. Fortunately for us the WEC, Jens Pulver and Urijah Faber saved the weekend for our sport. Pulver and Faber fought a war for 5 rounds. Faber retained his WEC 145 pound belt with a unanimous decision victory. Watching this fight has motivated me to rank the top ten pound-for-pound White fighters in MMA. Here is my list:

1. Fedor Emelianenko (27-1) Heavyweight; next fight: vs. Tim Sylvia
2. George St. Pierre (16-2) Welterweight; next fight: vs. Jon Fitch for the UFC Welterweight Title
3. Randy Couture (16-8) Heavyweight; next fight: vs. unknown, possibly Fedor Emelianenko
4. Urijah Faber
(21-1) Featherweight; next fight: vs. unknown, possibly Miguel Torres (34-1)
5. Chuck Liddell (21-5) Light-Heavyweight; next fight: vs. unknown, possibly "Shogun" Rua
6. Forest Griffin (15-4) Light-Heavyweight; next fight: vs. "Rampage" Jackson for UFC Light Heavyweight Title
7. Matt Hughes (42-6) Welterweight; next fight: vs. Thiago Alves
8. Jon Fitch (17-2) Welterweight; next fight: vs. George St. Pierre for UFC Welterweight Title
9. Josh Barnett (22-5) Heavyweight; next fight: vs. Pedro Rizzo
10. Matt Lindland (20-5) Middleweight; next fight: vs. Fabio Negao

Tim Sylvia, Jake Shields, Mirko "Cro Cop", Rich Franklin, Marcus Davis and Andrei Arlovski are fighters that have top 10 potential. If they can come up with some impressive victories and anyone in the top ten should lose they could enter the "White Top-Ten".